WASHINGTON – In job roles where many employees wield knives and are subject to cold, damp conditions much of the workday, news of decreased injuries is always welcomed, nowhere more than in the poultry-processing industry. According to a Nov. 28 report issued by the US Dept. of Labor, the “2015 Injury and Illness Report,” the injury rate for 2015 in the poultry segment was 4.3 percent full-time workers per year. The DOL’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the 2015 incidence of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses, including those in poultry slaughter and processing operations, is 81 percent lower than the 1994 rate of 22.7 percent.

“Perhaps more than any other industry, the poultry industry has focused its energies on the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses, especially musculoskeletal disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome, by recognizing the value of implementing ergonomics and medical intervention principles and continually embracing technology and automation in the workplace,” said a joint statement from the National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and US Poultry & Egg Association.

Despite the significant decrease in injuries and illnesses in its sector, the poultry industry is resigned to continue improving worker safety.

“Our employees are our most important asset, and their safety is of paramount importance,” said the group’s statement.

The entire report is available here